ELBURN – Village President Dave Anderson acknowledged concerns of residents Monday night as they questioned the village's request for a tax levy that seeks 22.5 percent more than what was collected last year.
But Anderson also made clear that the tax levy request of $824,000 was the same as what was requested last year – a year the village wound up collecting $672,148.24. He said it was not likely that the village would collect the entire amount requested.
And he said village officials already have made significant cuts over the past years, and said the services provided by the village – including police protection and snow removal – do have cost.
Village Board members unanimously approved the tax levy request, though Trustees Jeff Walter and Ethan Hastert were not in attendance.
Resident Ron Rosecky recalled that village officials said earlier this year that snow plowing could be limited if there were financial struggles. The suggestion was the village might wait to plow until a few inches of snow had accumulated. Rosecky wondered whether that remained an issue. Anderson suggested that depended on how often the plows were needed.
"This being Dec. 3, and this being 70 degrees … the longer this lasts, the less you will have to worry," Anderson said Monday night. "Could it happen? The answer is yes, Ron."
Another resident, Gene Taylor, expressed frustration that his property taxes keep going up despite the fact that home values are going down. "From a homeowner's point of view, that's got to stop," he said.
Anderson said he agreed with Taylor, but he said if village officials said they would stop removing snow, "we'll get a room full of people" complaining.
"They all cost money," Anderson said of services the village provide. "And the money has to come from someplace."
Taylor said he understood, but he said "a lot of homeowners are feeling squeezed."
Anderson suggested that residents take advantage of workshops done by Blackberry Township Asssessor Uwe Rotter each month, in which there is a program that explains how assessments are developed. The next one is set for 7 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Blackberry Township Building at 43W390 Main Street Road, Elburn.